Delhi's Jantar Mantar no longer a 'protest site', rules NGT
New Delhi: The favourite site of the protesters in the national capital, Jantar Mantar, will no longer see any protests as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a complete ban on all types of protests, public gatherings and use of loudspeakers at the venue in the heart of the city.
Asking the authorities remove all makeshift or permanent structures from the area, the green panel directed all protests should now be held at Ram Leela Maidan in Ajmeri Gate.
The order came following a 2016 application of the permanent residents of the Jantar Mantar Road complaining that they had been suffering since years as the area -- the stretch between Ashoka Road and Parliament Street -- has become a "symbolic, protest battle ground".
The judgement by Justice Raghuvendra S. Rathore, Judicial Member and Satyawan Singh Garbyal, Expert Member, has asked the Delhi Government, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Police Commissioner to immediately stop all activities of protest, assembly of people, public speeches, and using of loud speakers at Jantar Mantar road.
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"The respondent shall shift the protesters, agitators and the people holding dharnas to the alternative site at Ram Leela Maidan, Ajmeri Gate, forthwith," the tribunal said, directing the compliance of its order within four weeks from the date of pronouncement of the judgement.
It observed that the excessive noise pollution from the loud-speakers and worsening sanitation situation are affecting the health of the residents and children there.
"About fifty persons are permanently staying. The organisers of protests make arrangements for food, lodging, etc... On some occasions, the residents have to pay extra money from their pockets to ensure that the area is clean of litter left by the protesters," the tribunal said.
It has ordered directed the NDMC to remove all structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the said stretch and clean up the entire area.